Hi Koen! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?
From the of age 25 to 30, I was lucky enough to be an expat across Europe, Asia and Africa! It was simply too hard not to document parts of those experiences. I moved to Belgium more recently, where I work in business development and also have my own (small) company. For the latter, I shoot and publish thematic photobooks to support local tourism.
QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?
AThe moment a 10 year old blue-purple boy was about to spray paint my lens in Mathura, India. Rather than appearing extraterrestrial, he was coloured with spring happiness. Luckily, his enthusiasm for the evocative annual ‘Holi’ festival was no match for my plastic-bag-wrapped camera and rapid ‘bob and weave’ moves. No cameras were hurt - though that lens died a few months later - and the photo became the editor’s pick for the National Geographic daily dozen. To remind myself to keep travelling and mixing with other cultures, I still use that photo on my business cards.
QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?
AI use pretty affordable semi-professional equipment, a Nikon D7000 at the moment, with 3 to 4 lenses ranging from 8mm to 200mm. It’s simple but performs well, and has 2 card slots. My favourite lens is a 8mm fish-eye. Just like a good macro lens (on my wish list), it never ceases to amaze me how much more it can absorb than the naked eye.
QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?
AYou can have twelve photographers looking at the same object differently. Build on this uniqueness as the core of your personal journey. Whether from a commercial or creative perspective, do not try to be the same!